How to Tie Dye Bedding

Written by roxanne blackwood
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How to Tie Dye Bedding
For better results, use fewer colours. This will ensure that your tie dye isn't muddy. (tie dyed green image by Steve Mann from

Tie dyeing is a creative way to spruce up old or plain sheets with interesting designs and shapes: fabric dyes can make almost anything come alive. Twisting and tying your fabric is what makes this type of dyeing different from any other. By limiting the areas the dyes can get to, you ensure variation in colour saturation, and allow some of the original fabric colour to peak through.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Bedding set
  • Rubber bands
  • Newspaper
  • Fabric dye
  • Rubber gloves
  • Buckets

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  1. 1

    Twist your bedding fabric in one of two different ways, yielding either one continuous spiral, or several rings spread out across your fabric. To make one spiral, grab a handful of fabric and start twisting until the entire thing is twisted nicely into a ball. Secure it with rubber bands. To make several rings, twist the fabric a few separate times. Then secure it with rubber bands.

  2. 2

    Lay down newspaper over your entire work surface before you being dyeing. Overestimate the amount of space you will need, because any stray dye will permanently stain.

  3. 3

    Prepare your dyes in large buckets. Depending on the type of dye you purchased, you will have to prepare it in several different ways. Read the instructions carefully and wear protective gloves, so that your skin does not absorb any dye.

  4. 4

    Place your dyes on the newspaper in order from lightest to darkest in colour. To begin dyeing, start with the lightest colour first, and check to see how long you must wait for your dye to set, before you start dipping into the second colour. Also note that any overlapping in colour will result in a mixture of those colours, so if you start with yellow then dip into red, your overlap will become orange.

  5. 5

    Repeat steps one through four for the rest of your bedding pieces, until your set is complete. Clean up your workspace immediately after you have finished dyeing, using hot soapy water. Hang dry your new tie-dyed bedding.

Tips and warnings

  • Wash your bedding alone in cold water several times before running it through a regular wash. This will help to set the colour more permanently and will stop any running dyes.
  • Be sure to check if your fabric needs to be pretreated before it is dyed. The instructions on your dye will state specifically if you need to pretreat or not.
  • Do not reuse the dye buckets for anything other than crafting projects, as the dyes may have set into the linings of the containers.

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